Equatorial Guinea gained independence in 1968 after 190 years of Spanish rule; it is one of the smallest countries in Africa consisting of a mainland territory and five inhabited islands. The capital of Malabo is located on the island of Bioko, approximately 25 km from the Cameroonian coastline in the Gulf of Guinea. Between 1968 and 1979, autocratic President Francisco MACIAS NGUEMA virtually destroyed all of the country's political, economic, and social institutions before being deposed by his nephew Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO in a coup. President OBIANG has ruled since October 1979 and was reelected in 2016. Although nominally a constitutional democracy since 1991, presidential and legislative elections since 1996 have generally been labeled as flawed. The president exerts almost total control over the political system and has placed legal and bureaucratic barriers that prevent political opposition. Equatorial Guinea has experienced rapid economic growth due to the discovery of large offshore oil reserves, and in the last decade has become Sub-Saharan Africa's third largest oil exporter. Despite the country's economic windfall from oil production, resulting in a massive increase in government revenue in recent years, the drop in global oil prices has placed significant strain on the state budget. Equatorial Guinea continues to seek to diversify its economy and to increase foreign investment despite limited improvements in the population's living standards. Equatorial Guinea is the host of major regional and international conferences and continues to seek a greater role in regional affairs.



Central Africa, bordering the Bight of Biafra, between Cameroon and Gabon

Geographic coordinates

2 00 N, 10 00 E

Map references



total: 28,051 sq km
land: 28,051 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Maryland

Land boundaries

total: 528 km
border countries (2): Cameroon 183 km, Gabon 345 km


296 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical; always hot, humid


coastal plains rise to interior hills; islands are volcanic


mean elevation: 577 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pico Basile 3,008 m

Natural resources

petroleum, natural gas, timber, gold, bauxite, diamonds, tantalum, sand and gravel, clay

Land use

agricultural land: 10.1%
arable land 4.3%; permanent crops 2.1%; permanent pasture 3.7%
forest: 57.5%
other: 32.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land


Natural hazards

violent windstorms; flash floods
volcanism: Santa Isabel (elev. 3,007 m), which last erupted in 1923, is the country's only historically active volcano; Santa Isabel, along with two dormant volcanoes, form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea

Environment - current issues

tap water is non-potable; deforestation

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

insular and continental regions widely separated

People and Society


noun: Equatorial Guinean(s) or Equatoguinean(s)
adjective: Equatorial Guinean or Equatoguinean


759,451 (July 2016 est.)

Ethnic groups

Fang 85.7%, Bubi 6.5%, Mdowe 3.6%, Annobon 1.6%, Bujeba 1.1%, other 1.4% (1994 census)


Spanish (official) 67.6%, other (includes French (official), Fang, Bubi) 32.4% (1994 census)


nominally Christian and predominantly Roman Catholic, pagan practices

Demographic profile

Equatorial Guinea is one of the smallest and least populated countries in continental Africa and is the only independent African country where Spanish is an official language. Despite a boom in oil production in the 1990s, authoritarianism, corruption, and resource mismanagement have concentrated the benefits among a small elite. These practices have perpetuated income inequality and unbalanced development, such as low public spending on education and health care. Unemployment remains problematic because the oil-dominated economy employs a small labor force dependent on skilled foreign workers. The agricultural sector, Equatorial Guinea’s main employer, continues to deteriorate because of a lack of investment and the migration of rural workers to urban areas. About three-quarters of the population lives below the poverty line.
Equatorial Guinea’s large and growing youth population – about 60% are under the age of 25 – is particularly affected because job creation in the non-oil sectors is limited, and young people often do not have the skills needed in the labor market. Equatorial Guinean children frequently enter school late, have poor attendance, and have high dropout rates. Thousands of Equatorial Guineans fled across the border to Gabon in the 1970s to escape the dictatorship of MACIAS NGUEMA; smaller numbers have followed in the decades since. Continued inequitable economic growth and high youth unemployment increases the likelihood of ethnic and regional violence.

Age structure

0-14 years: 40.15% (male 154,896/female 150,010)
15-24 years: 19.63% (male 75,914/female 73,194)
25-54 years: 31.94% (male 120,999/female 121,587)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 14,052/female 18,583)
65 years and over: 3.98% (male 12,627/female 17,589) (2016 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 72.9%
youth dependency ratio: 67.9%
elderly dependency ratio: 5%
potential support ratio: 20% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 19.6 years
male: 19.1 years
female: 20.1 years (2016 est.)

Population growth rate

2.48% (2016 est.)

Birth rate

32.8 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Death rate

8 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)

Net migration rate

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)


urban population: 39.9% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.12% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

MALABO (capital) 145,000 (2014)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.76 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2016 est.)

Maternal mortality rate

342 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 67.2 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 68.2 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 66.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 64.2 years
male: 63.1 years
female: 65.4 years (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

4.48 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

12.6% (2011)

Health expenditures

3.8% of GDP (2014)

Hospital bed density

2.1 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source

urban: 72.5% of population
rural: 31.5% of population
total: 47.9% of population
urban: 27.5% of population
rural: 68.5% of population
total: 52.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

urban: 79.9% of population
rural: 71% of population
total: 74.5% of population
urban: 20.1% of population
rural: 29% of population
total: 25.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

4.88% (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

27,400 (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,100 (2015 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria and dengue fever
animal contact disease: rabies (2016)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate

16.2% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

5.6% (2010)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 95.3%
male: 97.4%
female: 93% (2015 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea
conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea
local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial/Republique de Guinee Equatoriale
local short form: Guinea Ecuatorial/Guinee Equatoriale
former: Spanish Guinea
etymology: the country is named for the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; the "equatorial" refers to the fact that the country lies just north of the Equator

Government type

presidential republic


name: Malabo; note - a new capital of Oyala is being built on the mainland near Djibloho; Malabo is on the island of Bioko
geographic coordinates: 3 45 N, 8 47 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

7 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Annobon, Bioko Norte, Bioko Sur, Centro Sur, Kie-Ntem, Litoral, Wele-Nzas


12 October 1968 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day, 12 October (1968)


approved by referendum 17 November 1991; amended several times, last in 2012 (2016)

Legal system

mixed system of civil and customary law

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Equatorial Guinea
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo (since 3 August 1979 when he seized power in a military coup)
head of government: Prime Minister Francisco Pascual Eyegue OBAMA Asue (since 23 June 2016); First Deputy Prime Minister Clemente Engonga NGUEMA Onguene; Second Deputy Prime Minister Alfonso Mesie MIBUY; Third Deputy Prime Minister Alfonso Nsue MOKUY
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 April 2016 (next to be held in 2023); prime minister and deputy prime ministers appointed by the president
election results: Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo reelected president; percent of vote - Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo (PDGE) 93.7%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral National Assembly or Asemblea Nacional, formerly the unicameral Parliament, consists of the Senate or Senado (70 seats; 55 members directly elected by simple majority vote and 15 appointed by the president) and the House of People's Representatives or Camara de Representantes del Pueblo (100 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms); note - the constitutional referendum of 2011 established the Senate and was implemented at the time of the May 2013 elections
elections: last held on 26 May 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 54, CPDS 1; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PDGE 99, CPDS 1

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Justice (consists of the chief justice - who is also chief of state - and 9 judges and organized into civil, criminal, commercial, labor, administrative, and customary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president and 4 members)
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms; Constitutional Court members appointed by the president, 2 of which are nominated by the Chamber of Deputies
subordinate courts: Court of Guarantees; military courts; Courts of Appeal; first instance tribunals; district and county tribunals

Political parties and leaders

Convergence Party for Social Democracy or CPDS [Andres ESONO ONDO]
Democratic Party for Equatorial Guinea or PDGE [Teodoro OBIANG Nguema Mbasogo] (ruling party)
Electoral Coalition or EC
Popular Action of Equatorial Guinea or APGE [Carmelo MBA BACALE]
Popular Union or UP [Daniel MARTINEZ AYECABA]
not officially registered parties: Democratic Republican Force or FDR [Guillermo NGUEMA ELA]
Independent Candidacy or CI [Gabriel NSE OBIANG OBONO]
Party for Progress of Equatorial Guinea or PPGE [Severo MOTO]
Union for the Center Right or UDC [Avelino MOCACHE MEAENGA]
note: in November 2014, the government hosted a National Dialogue process to engage with the political opposition; the opposition particiapated with limited attendance and engagement; on March 18, 2015, the CPDS, FDR, and UP formed a coalition called the Front of Democratic Opposition or FOD

Political pressure groups and leaders

ASODEGUE (Madrid-based pressure group for democratic reform)
Coalicion CEIBA (group formed by diverse, exiled political parties)
C.O.R.E.D. (originally led by Raimundo Ela Nsang; based in Paris)
EG Justice (US-based anti-corruption group)

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Miguel Ntutumu EVUNA ANDEME (since 23 February 2015)
chancery: 2020 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 518-5700
FAX: [1] (202) 518-5252
consul general(s): Houston

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Julie FURUTA-TOY (since January 2016)
embassy: Carretera Malabo II, Malabo, Guinea Ecuatorial
mailing address: US Embassy Malabo, US Department of State, Washington, DC 20521-2520
telephone: [240] 333 09 57 41

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red, with a blue isosceles triangle based on the hoist side and the coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms has six yellow six-pointed stars (representing the mainland and five offshore islands) above a gray shield bearing a silk-cotton tree and below which is a scroll with the motto UNIDAD, PAZ, JUSTICIA (Unity, Peace, Justice); green symbolizes the jungle and natural resources, blue represents the sea that connects the mainland to the islands, white stands for peace, and red recalls the fight for independence

National symbol(s)

silk cotton tree; national colors: green, white, red, blue

National anthem

name: "Caminemos pisando la senda" (Let Us Tread the Path)
lyrics/music: Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO/Atanasio Ndongo MIYONO or Ramiro Sanchez LOPEZ (disputed)
note: adopted 1968


Economy - overview

Exploitation of oil and gas deposits, beginning in the 1990s, has driven economic growth in Equatorial Guinea, allowing per capita GDP (at purchasing power parity) to rise to over $38,700 in 2016. Forestry and farming are minor components of GDP. Although

Foreign assistance programs by the World Bank and the IMF have been cut since 1993 because of corruption and mismanagement, and as a middle income country Equatorial Guinea is now ineligible for most donor assistance. The government has been widely critic

Equatorial Guinea hosted two economic diversification symposia in 2014 that focused on attracting investment in five sectors: agriculture and animal ranching, fishing, mining and petrochemicals, tourism, and financial services. Undeveloped mineral resourc

GDP (purchasing power parity)

$31.77 billion (2016 est.)
$35.25 billion (2015 est.)
$38.08 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$11.64 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate

-9.9% (2016 est.)
-7.4% (2015 est.)
-0.5% (2014 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP)

$38,700 (2016 est.)
$44,100 (2015 est.)
$48,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars

Gross national saving

19.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
36.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
46.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 25.6%
government consumption: 5.7%
investment in fixed capital: 69.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 53.4%
imports of goods and services: -54.5% (2016 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 8.8%
industry: 71.7%
services: 16.5% (2016 est.)

Agriculture - products

coffee, cocoa, rice, yams, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, palm oil nuts; livestock; timber


petroleum, natural gas, sawmilling

Industrial production growth rate

-6.7% (2016 est.)

Labor force

195,200 (2007 est.)

Unemployment rate

22.3% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%


revenues: $2.436 billion
expenditures: $2.862 billion (2016 est.)

Taxes and other revenues

20.9% of GDP (2016 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

-3.7% of GDP (2016 est.)

Public debt

24.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

3.1% (2016 est.)
11.7% (2015 est.)

Central bank discount rate

8.5% (31 December 2010)
4.25% (31 December 2009)

Commercial bank prime lending rate

14% (31 December 2016 est.)
14% (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of narrow money

$1.445 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.888 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Stock of broad money

$3.788 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$3.841 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit

$1.443 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.557 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Current account balance

-$1.368 billion (2016 est.)
-$2.322 billion (2015 est.)


$5.064 billion (2016 est.)
$7.41 billion (2015 est.)

Exports - commodities

petroleum products, timber

Exports - partners

China 16.6%, South Korea 15.1%, Spain 9%, Brazil 8.2%, Netherlands 6.8%, South Africa 6.6%, India 5.8%, UK 5.7%, France 5.7% (2015)


$3.03 billion (2016 est.)
$3.953 billion (2015 est.)

Imports - commodities

petroleum sector equipment, other equipment, construction materials, vehicles

Imports - partners

Netherlands 16.9%, Spain 16.3%, China 14.8%, US 8.9%, Cote dIvoire 6%, France 4.8% (2015)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$621.9 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.205 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Debt - external

$1.364 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.194 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

Exchange rates

Cooperation Financiere en Afrique Centrale francs (XAF) per US dollar -
605.7 (2016 est.)
591.45 (2015 est.)
591.45 (2014 est.)
494.42 (2013 est.)
510.53 (2012 est.)


Electricity - access

population without electricity: 300,000
electrification - total population: 66%
electrification - urban areas: 93%
electrification - rural areas: 48% (2013)

Electricity - production

98 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - consumption

91.14 million kWh (2014 est.)

Electricity - exports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports

0 kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity

200,000 kW (2014 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels

22.6% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants

77.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production

250,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Crude oil - exports

290,100 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves

1.1 billion bbl (1 January 2016 es)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption

5,200 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports

5,197 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production

6.55 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption

1.594 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports

4.956 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves

36.81 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy

3.7 million Mt (2013 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 11,334
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (July 2015 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular

total: 533,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 72 (July 2015 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: digital fixed-line network in most major urban areas and decent mobile cellular coverage
domestic: fixed-line density is about 2 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular subscribership has been increasing and in 2015 stood at about 70 percent of the population
international: country code - 240; international communications from Bata and Malabo to African and European countries; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2015)

Broadcast media

state maintains control of broadcast media with domestic broadcast media limited to 1 state-owned TV station, 1 private TV station owned by the president's eldest son, 1 state-owned radio station, and 1 private radio station owned by the president's eldes (2013)

Internet country code


Internet users

total: 158,000
percent of population: 21.3% (July 2015 est.)


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 6
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 15
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 400,759
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 461,650 mt-km (2015)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

3C (2016)


7 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 6
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)


condensate 42 km; condensate/gas 5 km; gas 79 km; oil 71 km (2013)


total: 2,880 km (2000)

Merchant marine

total: 5
by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 1, petroleum tanker 3
foreign-owned: 1 (Norway 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Bata, Luba, Malabo
LNG terminal(s) (export): Bioko Island


Military branches

Equatorial Guinea Armed Forces (FAGE): Equatorial Guinea National Guard (Guardia Nacional de Guinea Ecuatorial, GNGE (Army), Navy, Air Force (2013)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Navy (2013)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

in 2002, ICJ ruled on an equidistance settlement of Cameroon-Equatorial Guinea-Nigeria maritime boundary in the Gulf of Guinea, but a dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon over an island at the mouth of the Ntem River and imprecisely defined maritime coordinates in the ICJ decision delayed final delimitation; UN urged Equatorial Guinea and Gabon to resolve the sovereignty dispute over Gabon-occupied Mbane and lesser islands and to create a maritime boundary in the hydrocarbon-rich Corisco Bay

Trafficking in persons

current situation: Equatorial Guinea is a source country for children subjected to sex trafficking and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor; Equatorial Guinean girls may be encouraged by their parents to engage in the sex trade in urban centers to receive groceries, gifts, housing, and money; children are also trafficked from nearby countries for work as domestic servants, market laborers, ambulant vendors, and launderers; women are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and China for forced labor or prostitution
tier rating: Tier 3 – Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards on the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government made no efforts to investigate or prosecute any suspected trafficking offenders or to identify or protect victims, despite its 2004 law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and mandating the provision of services to victims; undocumented migrants continued to be deported without being screened to assess whether any were trafficking victims; authorities did not undertake any trafficking awareness campaigns, implement any programs to address forced child labor, or make any other efforts to prevent trafficking (2015)